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How to Disinfect Your Car When You Go Out 

  • Cars Explained
  • Renee Martin
  • 5 minutes

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The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has definitely made all of us more conscious about hygiene. Keeping our hands clean is a habit that has slowly but surely grown into most of us. Even simple methods like maintaining good hygiene, and practicing social distancing have seemingly turned out to be pretty effective in keeping the virus at a distance. But is it enough to only look after ourselves? Of course, not. We have to always be mindful that we are dealing with a respiratory disease, which is contagious and spreads through air droplets. The droplets, unfortunately, gets stuck onto most surfaces, pretty fastSo, it is important that we keep both ourselves clean and give equal importance to all the objects like clothes and cars that we use when we go out of our homes. Cleaning cars should be given the most priority, as they are regularly exposed to possible exposure to the coronavirus strains. It is always best to not take chances as an exposed car, left out for too long without cleaning, could fast become a hotbed for the virus. Here are some easy tips on how to clean a carwith particular emphasis given to how to disinfect your car interiors as well. 

How Long Can Coronavirus Survive on Surfaces 


While a definite and accurate answer has not been found as of now, a rough layout of the duration, the virus can survive, was published by the New England Journal of Medicine. According to this report, the coronavirus is capable of surviving the longest on stainless steel and plastic surfaces (up to 72 hours), followed by cardboard (24 hours), copper (4 hours), and air (3 hours). While the exterior of carleans towards the safer side with mixed moldsinteriors feature a wide range of surfaces and can even have molded plastic amidst the mix. This makes it a bit concerning – especially if you or anybody else showcased possible coronavirus symptoms. Both Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organisation (WHO) state fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and new loss of taste or smell as symptoms of COVID-19. If you had anyone showing any of these symptoms on board your car, handle the cleaning with precaution – wear masks and gloves. Make sure you thoroughly clean your car as well. 

How to Properly Clean Your Car Without Damaging it 


The first and foremost rule of cleaning your car is to make it a routine or norm. You now have loads of time at home – so the usual excuse of not getting enough time probably wouldn’t make the cut. Even if you don’t actually get time to clean your car, it is best to spend at least a few minutes to work on at least interior car cleaning. Sunlight and UV rays can kill many viruses, and that might even do the same to coronavirus as well, but most of our cars have tinted mirrors that block sunlight getting into the interiors. So, make sure you spend time at least cleaning the interiors of your car. When it comes to deciding what is best to use for cleaning your cars – you can choose wipes dipped in alcohol solutions, or even soap and water mix as well. A simple but thorough wipe with the disinfectant can help get rid of the germs and viruses. However, make sure you spend extra time cleaning common touchpoints like all parts of the steering wheel, gear lever, stereo/radio touchpad and controls, door handles, mirror control buttons, turn indicator stalks, and the paddle controls. You should also consider cleaning the air conditioner vents and cupholders, which are often the dirtiest yet neglected parts of a carIt would also be best to vacuum off the dust and solid particles first if it’s been a while since you last cleaned your car. If you are using the soap water mix to disinfect your car, you might have to do some vigorous rubbing with the sponges on non-electrical parts. Just make sure not to go overboard and damage the car interior. 

Things to Avoid While Cleaning Your Car

Car Wash 2 

Under no circumstances should you ever use bleach, hydrogen peroxide, or ammonium-based cleaning products, as all three of these substances could damage your car interiors. While alcohol and soap- water mix solutions are safe to some extent, over usage of any alcohol-based products could potentially lead to scraping off the built-in coating that comes in most of the car’s interior. While soap and water are your safest bet to a certain extent, they too could be damaged if you go all out and scrub too hard, especially on older leather interiors. Stay clear of all this, and you are good to go! 

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